Five Figments of Phoenician Food Porn

Categories: Chow Bella
Yes. YES!
In his latest book, Medium Raw, Chef turned Food Writer turned Celebrity Chef Anthony Bourdain posits the following: "Who doesn't like a good wank now and then?"

Bourdain is talking about food porn; written chronicles of culinary exploits that make you feel glad to be alive and in possession of a mouth and delicious things to put in it. Well, the chef is right. We do enjoy a good metaphorical wank now and then especially if it involves food we might actually be able to consume.

We're betting you do too. That's why we've chronicled some of our own food porn favorites from around the Valley. They may not be the best culinary conquests in town, but hey, they're our food porn moments. So forgive us for the kiss and tell and just enjoy the following.

Jonathan McNamara
I need a moment.

Banoffee Pie at Cornish Pasty

You're sitting in what could be just any old hole in the wall bar in town. There's Zeppelin playing on an iPod that some line cook is constantly cranking up. Another cook is pulling pockets of deliciousness in and out of ovens. He's flustered as he does so, and every time you get a whiff of what he's baking, you are too.

The bar is Cornish Pasty and what you just consumed in steaming mouthfuls was the Carne Adovada pasty with house salsa and sour cream. It sits emitting extreme happiness in your tum-tum when the waitress asks if you're ready for dessert?

Ready? Is she crazy? Then she suggests the Banofee Pie and somewhere in your brain a switch is flipped and the stomach you thought couldn't possibly take another bite, wants it. It needs it. And unable to resist, you give the go ahead for them to go to work constructing your caramel goodness.

They lay it before you like a virgin sacrifice waiting for your gaping maw. You can taste the gritty texture of the graham cracker crust, the stick-to-your-fingers caramel, exotic banana slices fresh from the kill, and the whipped cream waiting to envelop your senses.

You grab a spoon and hold nothing back.

Cuban Sandwich at Paisley Violin

They say the waiting is the hardest part. You ponder this as you watch dishes being washed at Paisley Violin despite the fact that you placed your sandwich order an hour ago.

The minutes drag on and you suffer. No, not because you have a meeting to get to or work to do. You suffer but because you know that eventually that cook is going to put the damn dishes away and assemble heaven on bread: Paisley Violin's Cuban Panini.

You're dreaming of its delicate ham slices and melted cheese surrounding warm, dill pickle slices sitting atop black beans when out of nowhere it arrives.

You pick it up and take a furious bite into its bready exterior. The toasted roll rips at your gums and tears the roof of your mouth. It hurts, but the small amount of pain you experience is nothing but a small sacrifice to the sandwich you're shoveling into your welcoming mouth.

Sometimes the wait is worth it.

Spicy Tuna Tempura Roll at Sushi Ken

For the most part, Sushi Ken is as old-school as sushi joints get. There's the counter, the pencil and paper ordering system that only works in sushi restaurants and D&D games. There are the endless bottles of Kirin and bowls of edamame.

It's those rare instances that Sushi Ken shakes things up ever so slightly that magic happens.

You're downing your third (or was it your fourth) ice-cold, refreshing Kirin when that roll you ordered shows up.

The spicy tuna tempura roll is not what you expected. There are eight perfectly deep-fried beds of rice still sizzling with oil. Sitting on top, glistening and ready for your tongue, are tiny piles of spicy tuna chilled to a perfect contrast for the still-warm tempura-fried rice. You pop one into the vinegary bowl of sauce and place it on your tongue. Then you do it again. Then you do it again while flagging down the waitress to order more.

How do you say "delicious" in Japanese? Who the fuck cares? Your mouth is too full to speak anyway.

Jonathan McNamara
Hot and spicy!
​Nachos at Blanco Tacos y Tequila

You're trying to decide which flavored margarita to drink and half-convinced that the only appropriate margarita flavor is lime when your waitress shows up tableside to ask if you'd like to order some appetizers. You opt for the nachos, unaware of how glad you will be that you did.

Your distaste for Pomegranate anything (much less a margarita) melts away like the oozing cheese on the mountain of nachos that just showed up at your table. Everything else seems to fade out as tortilla chips slathered in a beefy, chili sauce, fat-laden avocado and pico become your single focus.  

Thinly veiled in a cheese sauce, the chips beckon you closer. Soon you're lifting them up to your lips. Too close! The cheese coagulates on your lips before you lick it away. You take a bite and taste beefy goodness as it slides down your throat.

Your only thought: again.

Wise Guy at Pizzeria Bianco

Pizzeria Bianco is more a less a family place. And that's just wrong. You know it's wrong. In fact the notion that it's a family restaurant makes the indulgent experience of consuming a pie at Bianco's appear to be some sort of sadistic challenge issued by the man himself. How can one do so without letting loose a few guttural moans of absolute pleasure?

Your Wiseguy pizza arrives complete with caramelized onions, and locally-sourced fennel sausage on the chewiest of oven-fired pizza crusts. You pick up a bite and place it, still steaming, between your parting lips.

You can feel the sausage snap between your teeth and you hope to God every one else in the joint will ignore the sounds you're making as you go in for the next bite.

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